Building and promoting Excellence in Life Sciences in Europe
Building and promoting Excellence in Life Sciences in Europe

World’s first Academic Extracellular Vesicle Core Facility

EU-LIFE Science Newsletter 3/2017

Community News from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), Finland

The recently established EV Core at the University of Helsinki is a globally unique technology core providing extracellular vesicle (EV) know-how and tools for characterization and downstream analyses of EVs.

EVs, such as exosomes and microvesicles, are small vesicles secreted by cells to blood and other biofluids. They carry a rich biomolecule content and play a key role in cell-cell communication in health and disease. Hence, they offer a new research focus from basic science to translational medicine. EVs are particularly interesting for diagnostic and therapeutic applications due to their easy availability and the protective environment they provide for potential biomarkers or drugs. However, the unmet need for specific equipment, standardization and knowhow in the study set-up (normalization, controls and standards), purification and characterization of EVs hinders the progress.

EV technology Core is a joint venture of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) and the Department of Biosciences/Faculty of Pharmacy. The EV core offers state-of-the-art and emerging EV technologies for research groups, hospitals, companies and authorities interested in EVs. The services include isolation of EVs, electron microscopy, nanoparticle tracking analysis and Apogee micro flow cytometry as well as RNA, protein and functional assays. In addition, the unit mediates contacts to other core facilities providing various downstream (e.g. omics) analyses, for which the EV input has been optimized.

Imge: Urinary extracellular vesicles imaged using electron microscopy by the EV Core